Sunny South Tunisia

Like a pale disk the sun rose from the sands surrounding the glorious oasis. The early morning sunlight, filtered by the palm trees, held only a memory of the fierce heat of the day before. Finally free of their burdens, her finely sculpted hand safe in his, they could start this new day dreaming of

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20 camels please!

“Hello.”“Mister Kloet?”“Yes…”“I want 20 camels!”“Excuse me? Who is this?”“This is Ahmed from Libya! I have your son and his wife. I want 20 camels or I will never let them go… ”“Oh hi Ahmed… black ones?”“Don’t take me for a fool Mr. Kloet, white camels naturally… those pesky black beasts are worthless!”“Ok ok… can I

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Welcome to Algeria

‘You follow…’‘Excuse me?’‘Miss Melody, you follow!’ the Judge repeated, getting exasperated. His lack of comprehensible English would have been funny, if not for our situation.Ahmed tried to ask him in Arabic exactly what he wanted to know, but the Judge would not have it.‘OK Miss Melody, you Ahmed know in Europe yes contact? You follow!’‘But

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Down through Egypt

I honestly believe nothing can prepare you for the spectacle that awaits you at an Egyptian border post. The utter chaos, pompous looking officials strutting about shouting and ordering minivan drivers to unload people, goods and the cargo piled on their roofs, only to be loaded again several hours later. Trucks and cars being inspected,

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Race or relaxation?

“Blah blablah blablablah?”“Excuse me, do you speak English?”“Mmmh…  Go? Where?”“Abydos, please?”“Aha! Yes, you follow me!” (Big smile) Wide-eyed with surprise and slightly in awe of these two crazy tourists in their even crazier car, the police officer on his motorbike decided to take his self-appointed escort duty very serious. Driving ahead, he stopped traffic for

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Jordan and Saudi

“So how long have you two been travelling?”“Oh, just a bit over ten years…”“What, ten years? All by bicycle? Where did you go?”“Well, up and down South-East Asia a few times, through China to Europe and back by different routes, the Middle East, Iran, and some more places I guess.” We were flabbergasted. We were in

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More than a big sand-box…

Most people will imagine a flat, dry, featureless landscape when you mention the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Some will not know what to imagine at all. Only when you mention exotic-sounding Muscat, Salalah, the Strait of Hormuz and Ras Musandam, will people realize the area is more than just a sandbox. Pearl of

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Exploring the South

From the southern foothills of the Hajar we passed into the lowlands. Strategically located, with a view of the surrounding dusty plains, lies the fort of Jibrin. Over the years, this marvel of old-Omani architecture was restored to its former glory. The original structure expanded over the centuries, creating a maze-like fortress, with crenellated walls,

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